November 12, 2004


The Rush To 'MoveOn': Flee to Canada or Spain, or try a cheaper foreign land -- a red state. (Carol Lloyd, November 12, 2004, SF Chronicle)

Wednesday morning outside our house, the mother of our daughter's classmate pauses on the way to drop her child off at preschool. The typically ebullient woman has dark circles under her eyes. My husband says something about leaving the country.

"Hong Kong," she says, not missing a beat.

Another mom strolls by with toddlers in tow and says, "I was thinking New Zealand."

"We're considering Spain," says a dad as he unstraps his son from his stroller.

At that moment, our next-door neighbor, a retired cable-car driver, emerges from his house. There's no way he could have heard the conversation, but it's as if he did.

"How are you doing, Bill?" I ask.

"I'm so depressed, I'm moving to Amsterdam."

A filmmaker we know drives by. Without stopping, she yells, "We're moving to France!"

This is an archetypically democratic idea, that American secularists move to those nations of the West (all of them dying and therefore likely to welcome upper and upper-middle class white immigrants) that are structured around their own belief system.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 12, 2004 11:00 AM

"Go. The city date stands open. No one will bar your way." Cicero, Oratio Prima in Catilnam"

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 12, 2004 11:09 AM

"According to a Reuters report, the Canadian government issued a press release reminding Americans that Canada has immigration standards and won't let in just any Tom, Dick or Mary who arrives at the border with a peace-sign tattoo and a "Babes Against Bush" bumper sticker."

Been there, done that.

"More than 3,500 Canadians have pledged on a Web site called Marry An American to wed disgruntled Yankees, and, though the site was intended to be satirical, many of the pledges' profiles seem quite earnest."

Hey, Bart, there you go. Bart?

Posted by: Peter B at November 12, 2004 11:13 AM

Like I said the other day - a lot of these people, should they actually become expats, will insist on their right to continue voting in our elections.

Posted by: M. Murcek at November 12, 2004 11:20 AM

What will they think of Paris or Amsterdam the
first time their kids get roughed up?

How many "film-makers" are there in this country?
Does this equate to the number of people with
trust funds?

Something tells me that Europe is not in need
of that sort of "labor force" either.

Posted by: J.H. at November 12, 2004 11:20 AM


Thank you. I was trying to remember that line.


There are quite enough arrogant, sanctimonious bimbos in America to choose from, thank you very much. LOL!

The notion that someone would move to Hong Kong because he thinks America isn't democratic enough or cares enough about the welfare of its unfortunate is beyond laughable. Someone that stupid shouldn't be allowed to drive, vote or handle sharp implements.

Now if you said, 'I'm moving to Hong Kong because the food's great, the women are beautiful and there are a million ways for a reasonably intelligent and talented person to make a whole lot of money' that would make sense.

Posted by: Bart at November 12, 2004 11:22 AM

I just can't comprehend the level self-centered, myopic vanity required to feel compelled to leave the damn country over an election.

What does it take? I guess, such complete conviction in your personal righteousness that anyone's deviation is completely intolerable, followed by such a lack of care for country and common feeling for over half of your fellow-voters that you can't be bothered to stick around and try to work for what you think's right, topped off by enough tunnelvision and paranoia to really believe fascism's around the corner.

Go, indeed. Get out.

Posted by: Twn at November 12, 2004 11:35 AM

Well, the grass is always greener on the other side of the border checkpoint. Bbut since these people are so into immediate gratification, were they to move to Canada or one of the EU countries, a year or two down the line we'd be seeing stories about all those whiney American ex-pats who've moved into their countries and are now demanding those countries adjust their lifestyles and customs to suit them.

Posted by: John at November 12, 2004 11:57 AM

"demanding those countries adjust their lifestyles and customs to suit them."

If they're mad at us now for exporting Hollywood and McDonalds to their pristine shores, think of how they'll react to being Californicated!

Between them and the Islamists, places like France will no longer have anyone who lives there wants the country to remain French.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 12, 2004 12:13 PM

John is probably right. OTOH, I am genuinely puzzled why more don't move, as it appears that the secular Continent has everything the whiners want. The usual combination of inertia and laziness will constitute a sufficient explanation, I'd guess. At least Johnny Depp walked the talk some years back.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at November 12, 2004 12:14 PM

I just can't comprehend the level self-centered, myopic vanity required to feel compelled to leave the damn country over an election.

If you step back and look at it, it's pretty pathetic. If you HAVE to go into psychotherapy just because your God-come-in-the-Flesh lost an election, you're too weak to be worth anything.

Posted by: Ken at November 12, 2004 12:21 PM

More Mexicans!

BTW. Maybe they want to read up on what happened in Amsterdam on 11/2/04 before they book the flights.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 12, 2004 12:36 PM

There's also that nasty requirement that many EU countries and others have that emigrants possess some manner of marketable skills. Creating alternative realities might not qualify.

Posted by: MB at November 12, 2004 12:38 PM

Ahh MB, obviously you haven't been reading Le Monde lately.

Posted by: Robert Modean at November 12, 2004 1:20 PM

Mr Modean--

Sure, but Le Monde isn't hiring. They have plenty of natives to do that job.

Posted by: Brian (MN) at November 12, 2004 1:38 PM

Moving to Amsterdam? A recent survey in Holland shows 28% of all Dutch would leave the country given the chance. This Dutch blogger comments: "Admittedly, my first emotional response to the Van Gogh murder was: "That's it. I'm moving to the USA."

Posted by: carter at November 12, 2004 4:51 PM

God Damm it .......more Yankee the Englsh loyalists and the draft dodgers.....jees why are all the nuts moving here....still after a winter or two; our wonderful taxes; high prices; Gov. health care there should he cured of that disease...runnitatis...what can we get some real Yankee ..... gun lust; swagering and all that

Posted by: patrick at November 12, 2004 4:52 PM

In Poland, they say the sausage is browner in the next village.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 12, 2004 5:01 PM

I pity the poor misinformed sap that tries to come to Hong Kong to live on his own, without backing from a large company. May be able to get a work permit as domestic help. Maybe.

Posted by: Tom Wall at November 12, 2004 5:28 PM


If you have a big bankroll, a very big bankroll, and you are fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, it shouldn't be a problem to start a business.

Posted by: Bart at November 12, 2004 5:53 PM

They keep threatening but seldom leave damnit.

Posted by: genecis at November 12, 2004 8:20 PM

Uncle Bill Sez:

"The grass is brown on both sides of the fence."

Posted by: Uncle Bill at November 13, 2004 2:59 PM